Greetings fellow fly anglers! This week saw stream levels come down across the Black Hills. Many are still on the high side but more fishing opportunities are available this week compared to last. The central and southern hills still have the highest water but fishing has picked up on most of these streams despite the high water. Our guides have been fishing Rapid Creek this week and it has been fishing well. Despite the higher water if you fish the edges and slower runs on Rapid Creek you can find good numbers of fish. For the best stream conditions go to the highest elevations where run off has slowed. Spearfish Creek and Hanna Creek are near normal flows for this time of year. If you cross over into Wyoming, Sand Creek is clear and fishing great. Castle Creek above and below Deerfield is coming back to near normal and will fish well below the dam. Spring Creek above and below Sheridan has dropped considerably but the water is very off-color. Large nymphs and streamers will work on Spring Creek.
Lakes have been fishing very well in Custer State Park. If you are in that area check out the walk-in area below Center Lake. Sylvan Lake has been fishing really well. You can fish an indicator rig with a bead head pheasant tail and catch tons of rainbows- this is a great spot for newer anglers or kids.
Bass and pike fishing has been decent on Prairie Lakes east of Rapid City. Pike fishing opportunities exist on Pactola Reservoir - with the reservoir into the flood pool launching larger boats is an issue. Sheridan lake is murky but anglers have caught some pike and bass there. Sheridan Lake is very murky, hopefully as the inflows drop this week the water will clear up.
We should see stream flows continue to drop over the week and fishing conditions improve by the day, barring any major rain storms. The best note of all is that the higher water this spring/early summer will ensure great fishing conditions into the fall. Don’t let the high water stop you from getting out now. Our guides did quite well in and around Rapid City despite the high water conditions on Rapid Creek.
Flies for stream fishing- Tungsten Jig Purple PT size 12-14, Tungsten Jig Prince Nymph size 10-14, Tungsten Jig Assassin 12-14, G-String Worm, Tungsten San Juan Worms, Annelids, and Mop Flies.
Flies for lake Fishing- Bead Head Pheasant tail nymphs 12-16, Prince Nymphs 12-14, BH Mini Leeches Black and Olive, Balance Leeches, Twin Lakes Special.
Flies for Pike- Trick or Treat, Murdich Minnow, Rainy’s CF Baitfish
Flies for Bass- Ehler’s Grim Reaper, Ehler’s Laser Minnow, Jiggy Worm, Mini Jiggy Worms, Murdich Minnows